SCADA Migration: What Oil and Gas Companies Need to Know When Buying Assets

When an oil and gas company acquires new assets or starts up in a new location, a SCADA Migration to an efficient SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) platform is crucial. The parent company of OnPing, Plow Technologies, a leader in automation, has a lot of experience in doing SCADA Migration of Oilfield assets for acquiring companies so OnPing was created having this in mind. Below, we outline the critical information a buying oil and gas company needs to obtain from the selling party to facilitate a smooth SCADA migration to OnPing, or any other platform for that matter. The list below is extensive but useful. In addition to the questions here, there is an important piece of information. No matter how much they swear to it.. all the wells are not the same!

Asset Locations and Access

Asset identification and prioritization are always important. There can be several names for pads and wells. Getting these early is a huge help to getting everyone on the same page when referring to equipment. Wells are often not the only sort of location being acquired. Make sure to look for SWD or other one-off facilities that have data coming in. They usually have to be handled in other ways.

  1. Asset Identification: Obtain pad names, well names, and coordinates. Prioritize the order of wells for transition.
  2. Radio Towers: Identify locations of radio towers that sites communicate with.
  3. Additional Assets: Provide coordinates for any other assets requiring data integration.

SCADA Migration Equipment List

EFMs and RTUs

These devices make up the bulk of most asset transfers when acquiring data. We listed brands that tend to be industry standard below.

It is always a good idea to know brands outside of those you are familiar with. If your area has different standard brands definitely adjust this list accordingly. 

  1. Communication Protocols: Confirm if all EFM, RTU, and other devices communicate via ROC8500 Protocol, TotalFlow Protocol, or Modbus. If not, describe the alternative communication methods.
  2. Equipment Makes: Identify any EFMs or PLCs not from ABB TotalFlow, Emerson ROC, Rockwell Family, WellPilot, Idec Family, or SCADA Pak Family.
  3. Program Access: Ensure copies of programs and configurations for this equipment are available.
  4. Malfunctioning Devices: Report any known malfunctions in RTUs or EFMs.

HMI and Displays

Displays get neglected when doing migrations quite often. Sometimes they even contain site logic. It is important to understand the visualizations on site.

  1. HMI Types: List the HMI types in the field and their corresponding wells.
  2. Program Access: Confirm access to programs or configurations for any HMI in use.
  3. Malfunctioning HMIs: Report any known malfunctions in HMIs.


SCADA requires communications, especially in the Oilfield! Here are a few points to remember regarding comms. The full list of information regarding comms really requires an experienced understanding of various communications methods but this should get you started.

  1. Coverage Issues: Identify areas where cell coverage is inadequate or alternative communication methods are required.
  2. Radio Towers: List radio towers and the wells they service.
  3. Radio Equipment: Provide brands and locations of radio equipment in use.
  4. Cell Modems: List brands and locations of cell modems in use.
  5. Network Issues: Report any known malfunctions or dropouts in the radio or cell network.


  1. Solar Systems: Detail any systems running on solar power, including wattage.
  2. Battery-Powered Sensors: Identify any battery-operated or wireless sensors and confirm monitoring status.
  3. Power Issues: Report any known power issues at locations.

Third-Party Meters

  1. Third-Party Data Sources: Identify any third-party data sources, such as SWD companies or midstream companies, including data acquisition methods and contact points for relationship transfer.

Usernames and Passwords

  1. Access Credentials: Provide necessary usernames and passwords for RTU, EFM, displays, and networking equipment. Include any other secured access devices involved in data reading or control.

IP List

  1. Ethernet Devices: Provide an IP list with corresponding devices and locations.
  2. Serial Devices: Provide a list of devices and IDs for those communicating over serial connections.

SCADA Access

  1. Existing SCADA Platform: Ensure access to the current SCADA platform for at least 60 days to compare values. This access should include key values, operator screens, alarm lists, and device configurations.

Safety Critical Systems

Emergency Shutdown (ESD)

  1. Shut-in Alarms: Confirm standard shut-in alarm sets across the field.
  2. Remote Shut-ins: Identify if wells can be remotely shut in and under what conditions.
  3. SCADA Responsibilities: Confirm if the SCADA platform is responsible for any direct well shut-ins.

Site to Site Control

  1. Remote Permissives: Describe any remote permissives sent between facilities.

Other Critical Systems

  1. Safety-Critical Alarms and Controls: List alarms or controls categorized as safety critical, such as HP Shut-in or Field Shut-ins.

Before Transition

  1. Login Information: Provide a list of members needing login access, including names, emails, phone numbers, access levels, and alarm notification preferences.
  2. Alarm Notification Groups: Provide group names, usernames, and the order of notification for alarms.


This list is by no means exhaustive. However, it gets the ball rolling and will usually lead to new questions you need to have answered.

If you are still trying to decide who to use to help you get your sites online we can help! Explore OnPing SCADA and our expertise in the upstream oil and gas industry. Contact Plow Technologies for comprehensive SCADA migration services supported by our integrator partners and consulting expertise.